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Ivy’s supporters think she would have been in a better position if she had not been picked as an AL candidate. In the ongoing local body elections, the ruling party-backed candidates have been defeated in different places and some even had to lose their security money. That’s why the supporters of Ivy do not want central AL leaders in her election campaign.

Ivy herself admits that her challenge has increased for being a party candidate.

“It’s true that challenge has increased a bit. But I won competing with the party symbol last time and will win this time too. That was the first time local body elections were held under the party symbol. People ask me questions about it and I try to make them understand that although ‘boat’ is my electoral symbol, this is not a national election,” Ivy told Prothom Alo.

The voters have also varying reactions to elections under the party symbol.

Kamar Ali, a resident of Kadamtali area, said Ivy would win irrespective of the electoral symbol while Saranpar area’s resident Jewel Hossain thinks Ivy’s bid to the office for third consecutive terms might get hurt as the people do not support Awami League.

Hemayet Hossain, a resident of Jalkuri area, said, “Electoral symbol won’t matter. I will vote Ivy as she worked for people.” On the contrary Abdul Majid, a trader of Siddirganj’s Chittaranjan area, said Ivy is popular but she might be in a tight spot as people have a negative perception of the Awami League.

Taimur is likely to get votes of BNP supporters although he is not competing under BNP’s electoral symbol —sheaf of paddy.

BNP is not officially competing in the polls but Taimur is taking part. BNP has removed Taimur from the post of advisor to its chairperson Khaleda Zia on Monday.

Earlier on 25 December, he was withdrawn from the post of Narayanganj district committee convener. BNP has not taken disciplinary action against anyone else for campaigning for Taimur.

Taimur told Prothom Alo, “People don’t like local body elections held with party symbol. Awami League is holding the local elections under party symbols to establish one-party rule. People don’t like this practice and that’s why many independent candidates have won the local elections.”

Asked if competing as an independent candidate will give him an edge in the polls, Taimur said, “People from all parties have got a chance (to vote me) as I’m not competing under the party symbol. Awami League, Jatiya Party, religious parties and secular parties all are here. Hindu-Muslim all are campaigning.”

Election campaign of the candidates

Polls in NCC would take place on 16 January. The number of total voters is 517,361. Two main candidates are running their campaigns from morning every day. Ivy is highlighting different development activities undertaken during her tenure and pledging for more development.

Taimur is highlighting his role as a member of civil society in Narayanganj. He is also criticizing the government during his campaign.

Apart from these two candidates, others who are regularly campaigning include Islami Andolon Bangladesh’s candidate Masum Billah, Bangladesh Kallyan Party’s Rashed Ferdous, Khelafat Majlish’s ABM Sirajul Mamun and Bangladesh Khilafat Andolon’s Jasimuddin. Independent candidate Kamrul Islam is yet to start his campaign.

Shushashoner Jonno Nagorik's (Shujan) Narayanganj district unit general secretary Dheeman Saha told Prothom Alo that personal image takes precedence over party affiliation in Narayanganj.

He, however, said party symbol may have some impacts on the election but that might not affect Ivy as she has special acceptance among the people.

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